The University of Mississippi
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Undergraduate Program

About the Program

The front of Lewis Hall.

Physics is an exciting major. Our course of study will prepare you for a research career in an industrial or government laboratory, or for graduate study in experimental and theoretical physics. After becoming well-trained in critical thinking and problem solving, many physics majors move on to computational programs, engineering programs, medical schools, or even business or law degrees. The department also offers a special major for life science (premed) students leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree. Our B.A. graduates have exceptionally high acceptance rates (over 95%) at Medical Schools. An average of 30 undergraduate physics majors are enrolled in any one semester.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for entering freshmen are based primarily on two factors: scores on standardized tests and high school academic performance. The average American College Test (ACT) score for physics majors is 27. Equal numbers of undergraduate students seek B.A. and B.S. degrees.

For more admissions information, and to apply for admission, please see the university's admissions web site.

Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science
    • Our Bachelor of Science degree offers a comprehensive curriculum designed to fully prepare students for graduate studies. The department is relatively small and intimate, allowing students and faculty to get to know each other and work closely together. More than 90 percent of B.S. graduates go on to graduate programs.

      Recent graduates have gone on to physics and astronomy programs at institutions such as Caltech, Cornell, and the University of Illinois.

      The B.S. in physics requires 42 hours of credit from selected physics courses. The B.S. degree consists of the basic Physics for Scientists and Engineers (211, 212, 221, 222) in the freshman year and 34 hours of upper-division courses, which must include Mathematical Physics (308), Thermodynamics (309), Mechanics (310), Introduction to Modern Physics (317, 318), Optics (319), Electromagnetic Theory (401,402), and Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (451). One upper-division laboratory-based course is required in addition to Physics 319. This lab course is typically either Electronics (321) or Modern Physics Laboratory (417). Additionally Physics 498 is required.

      Additionally B.S. physics majors must take Math 261, 262, 263, 264, and 353, plus at least one of the following courses: Math 319, 454, or 459. All six required math courses should be completed by the end of the junior year.

      Requirements

      Semester Hours

      Physics (major): 42 physics hours are required, including 211, 212, 221, 222 and 34 hours of upper division courses, including 308, 309, 310, 317, 318, 319, 401, 402, 451 and one more upper division lab-based course. And Physics 498. 42
      English Composition and Literature 12
      Modern or Ancient Language   6
      Social Science 12
      Mathematics: 261, 262, 263, 264, 353, and at least one of 319, 454, 459 18
      Fine or Performing Arts   3
      Non-related (not Physics or Math)
      Suggested Courses: Chemistry and Computer Science
        9
      Additional Electives 22
      For more information please see the Online Catalog.

      Typical Curriculum

      FALL SEMESTER

      SPRING SEMESTER

      Freshman Year

      Math 261 3 Math 262 3
      Physics 211 3 Physics 212 3
      Physics Lab 221  1 Physics Lab 222 1
      Writing 101 3 Writing 102 or LIBA 102 3
      Modern or Ancient Language 101 3 Modern or Ancient Language 102 3
       Fine Arts 3 (Computer Science 251)* 3

      Sophomore Year

      Modern or Ancient Language 201 3 Modern or Ancient Language 202 3
      Physics 317 3 Physics 318 3
      Physics 319 4 English 200 level 3
      Social Science I 3 Social Science I 3
      Math 263 3 Math 264 3

      Junior Year

      Math 353 3 Math 454 or Math 319 3
      Physics 309 or 401 3 Physics 310 or 402 3
      Social Science II 3 Social Science II 3
      (Chemistry 105, 115)* 4 (Chemistry 106, 116)* 4
      English 200 level 3 Physics 308 3

      Senior Year

      (Math, Linear Algebra 319)* 3 (Math, Vector Analysis 318)* 3
      Physics 321 or 417 4 Physics 413 or 422 3
      Physics 309 or 401 3 Physics 310 or 402 3
      Physics 451 3 Elective 3
      Elective 3 Elective 3
          Physics 498
      1

      with departmental permission

      NOTE: SINCE PHYS 309, 310 ALTERNATES YEARLY WITH PHYS 401, 402, JUNIOR B.S. MAJORS MUST TAKE WHICHEVER PAIR OF THESE IS OFFERED IN THEIR JUNIOR YEAR TO BE ABLE TO FINISH IN FOUR YEARS.

      * Suggested Electives (identified by brackets)

  • Bachelor of Arts
    • The B.A. in Physics requires 26 hours in physics is offered in two tracks.

      • Track 1 includes the following: Physics 211, 221, 221, 222; at least 16 hours of approved physics courses at the 300 level or higher (excluding Phys 303), of which at least 6 hours are of approved physics courses at the 400 level or above.
      • Track 2 includes the following: Physics 213, 214, 223, 224, 303; at least 13 hours of approved physics courses at the 300 level or higher, of which at least 6 hours are of approved physics courses at the 400 level or above.

      For both tracks Physics 498, Math 261, and 262 are also required

      Requirements

      Semester Hours

      Physics (major): The B.A. in Physics requires 26 hours in physics is offered in two tracks.
      • Track 1 includes the following: Physics 211, 212, 221, 222; at least 16 hours of approved physics courses at the 300 level or higher (excluding Phys 303), of which at least 6 hours are of approved physics courses at the 400 level or above.
      • Track 2 includes the following: Physics 213, 214, 223, 224, 303; at least 13 hours of approved physics courses at the 300 level or higher, of which at least 6 hours are of approved physics courses at the 400 level or above.
      For both tracks Physics 498, Math 261, and 262 are also required
      26
      English Composition and Literature 12
      Modern or Ancient Language   6
      Additional Science (not Physics or Math)
      Suggested Courses: Chemistry and Computer Science
        3
      History   6
      Mathematics: 261, 262    6
      Social Science   6
      Humanities   3
      Fine or Performing Arts   3

      For more information please see the Online Catalog.

      Suggested Curriculum for the B.A. Degree in Physics

      FALL SEMESTER

      SPRING SEMESTER

      Freshman Year

      Classes Hours Classes Hours
      Math 261 3 Math 262 3
      Writing 101 3 Writing 102 3
      Modern or Ancient Language 101 3 Modern or Ancient Language 102 3
      History 101 3 History 102 3

      Sophomore Year

      Physics 213 3 Physics 214 3
      Physics Lab 223 1 Physics Lab 224 1
      English (200 level) 3 English (200 level) 3
      Social Science 3 Social Science 3
      Modern or Ancient Language 201 3 Modern or Ancient Language 202 3
      Elective 3 Elective 3

      Junior Year

      Physics 300 level 3 Physics 300 level 3
      Chemistry 105, 115 4 Chemistry 106, 116 4
      Fine Arts 3 Humanities 3
      Minor/Electives
      6
      Minor/Electives 6

      Senior Year

      Physics 400 level 3 Physics 400 level 3
      Physics 319
      4
      Physics 498 0
      Minor/Electives 3 Minor/Electives 3
      Electives 6 Electives

      10

  • Premedical Physics Bachelor of Arts
    • The B.A. program is tailored to students whose career goals do not require graduate-level study in physics. Ole Miss students who graduate with a B.A. in physics and whose sights are set on a medical career have a remarkable track record of success. Nearly 100 percent of these students have been accepted into medical school.

      Course work in physics not only prepares a student for the physics section of the MCAT exam but also sharpens reasoning ability for the "Science Problems" and "Skills Analysis: Quantitative" sections of the MCAT. Study in physics also prepares students to solve applied physics problems similar to those in clinical medicine or clinical dentistry. The course of study leading to a B.A. in physics allows the student to take all the biology and chemistry courses that are necessary for the MCAT and are recommended by all major medical and dental schools.

      The program follows the guidelines of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine and is also ideally suited for those students wishing a career in fields of medical physics, health physics or biophysics.

      This program is designed to continue our already high admission rate of physics majors into nationally recognized medical and dental schools, as well as preparing the student for solving applied physics problems very close to clinical medicine or clinical dentistry.

      Requirements:

      The B.A. in Physics for Premeds is offered in two tracks.

      • Track 1 includes the following: Physics 211, 221, 221, 222; at least 16 hours from the following: 315, 319, 321, 413, 415, 417, and 422.
      • Track 2 includes the following: Physics 213, 214, 223, 224, 303; at least 13 hours from the following: 315, 319, 321, 413, 415, 417, and 422.

      For both tracks Physics 498, Math 261, and 262 are also required.

      Physics courses at the appropriate level may be substituted at the discretion of the department.

      Requirements

      Semester Hours

      Physics (major): The B.A. in Physics for Premeds is offered in two tracks.
      • Track 1 includes the following: Physics 211, 221, 221, 222; at least 16 hours from the following: 315, 319, 321, 413, 415, 417, and 422.
      • Track 2 includes the following: Physics 213, 214, 223, 224, 303; at least 13 hours from the following: 315, 319, 321, 413, 415, 417, and 422.
      For both tracks Physics 498, Math 261, and 262 are also required.
      26
      English Composition and Literature 12
      Modern or Ancient Language   6
      Additional Science (not Physics or Math)
      Suggested Courses: Chemistry and Computer Science
        3
      History   6
      Mathematics: 261, 262    6
      Social Science   6
      Humanities   3
      Fine or Performing Arts   3
      For more information please see the Online Catalog.

      Suggested curriculum for Major in Premedical leading to a B.A. in Physics

      FALL SEMESTER

      SPRING SEMESTER

      Freshman Year

      Classes Hours Classes Hours
      Writing 101 3 Writing 102 3
      Bio Sci 160, 161 4 Bio Sci 162, 163 4
      Chemistry 105, 115 4 Chemistry 106, 116 4
      Math 261 3 Math 262 3
      Modern or Ancient Language 101 3 Modern or Ancient Language 102 3

      Sophomore Year

      Physics 213 3 Physics 214 3
      Physics Lab 223 1 Physics Lab 224 1
      Chemistry 221, 225 4 Chemistry 222, 226 4
      English (200 level) 3 English (200 level) 3
      Bio Sci 336 4 Bio Sci 330 4
      Modern or Ancient Language 201 3 Modern or Ancient Language 202 3

      Junior Year

      Physics 319 4 Physics 413 3
      Physics 303 3 Psychology 3
      History 3 History 3
      Psychology 3 English 321 3
      Fine Arts 3 *Prepare for MCAT

      Senior Year

      Physics 315 3 Phys 415 3
      Physics 321 4 Chemistry 473 3
      Philosophy 328 3 Bio Sci 332 4
      Chemistry 471 3 Elective 3
      Elective 3 Phys 498
      0
  • Physics Minor
    • A minor in Physics consists of 18 hours in physics, which must include either the Physics for Science & Engineering I and II (Phys 211, 212) their associated Labs (Phys 221, 222) sequence or the General Physics I and II (Phys 213, 214) and their associated Labs (Phys 223, 224) sequence; and at least 10 hours chosen from the following:

      • Physical Theory (Phys 303)
      • Mathematical Physics (Phys 308)
      • Thermodynamics (Phys 309)
      • Mechanics (Phys 310)
      • Either Radiation Science Phys (Phys 315) or Introduction to Modern Physics I (Phys 317)
      • Introduction to Modern Physics II (Phys 318)
      • Optics (Phys 319)
      • Electronics (Phys 321)
      • Electromagnetic Theory I (Phys 401)
      • Electromagnetic Theory II (Phys 402)
      • Either the Radiation Physics Laboratory (Phys 415) or the Modern Physics Laboratory (Phys 417)
      • Digital Electronics & Microprocessors (Phys 422)
      • Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (Phys 451)

      Physics courses at the appropriate level may be substituted at the discretion of the department.
      For more information please see the Online Catalog.

    For more information please see the complete undergraduate catalog at the academic programs web page.

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